Grilling is a delicious, healthy way to bring out the flavor of fruit. It’s easy to do outdoors or indoors and works for produce from any season. Some of our favorites include bananas, watermelon, peaches, plums, nectarines, apples, pears, pineapple, and mango, but let your imagination run wild! Whatever you choose, follow the steps below for flawlessly flame-kissed fruit.
1. Ripe But Not Too Ripe
You want to grill fruit right before you’d normally eat it as is. It should be slightly firm so that it holds up on the grill. The heat caramelizes the sugars in fruit and weakens the structure, so something overripe or mushy will be more likely to fall apart.
2. Bigger Is Better
Cut fruit into large chunks to keep it from falling between the bars of the grill grate. Even if you’re working with a grill pan indoors, you want to go for bigger pieces in order to maintain the structure of the fruit. Bonus tip: if you’re grilling bananas, keep them in the peel to protect the soft texture -- the high heat will ensure that they cook through.
3. Pick Your Fat
Brush fruit with a high-heat, neutral oil such as safflower or grapeseed oil. Melted unsalted butter or clarified butter also works well.
4. Do Not Disturb
Grill fruit over high heat for 3 minutes without moving or turning it to get the perfect sear (and coveted grill marks!). Flip and cook for 1 to 3 minutes more.
5. Get Creative with Pairing
Grilled fruit is equally delectable in sweet and savory applications -- the possibilities are endless. Try peaches alongside pork chops or chicken. Watermelon makes a refreshing summer salad when combined with feta cheese, mint or basil, olive oil, flaky sea salt, and pepper. Pop bananas out of their skin and top with ice cream and chocolate sauce for a new take on banana splits.
Seeking more grilled fruit inspiration? Here are some of our favorite tried-and-true recipes:
Watch these steps in action as our Kitchen Conundrums expert Thomas Joseph grills bananas, watermelon, and peaches: